Dominican Friars in Southern African fight Corruption in the Government of President Zuma

The friars in Southern African lodged a petition against President Zuma on charges of corruption and injustice and called for an investigation.
Fr Stanislaus Muyebe, op

On 18 March 2016, Fr Stanislaus Muyebe, Vice Provincial of the Vice Province of Southern Africa wrote a formal petition and called for the investigation of claims of corruption and injustice in the Government of President Jacob Zuma of South Africa. In the petition, Fr Muyebe requested Thuli Madonsela, the Public Protector of South Africa to investigate the report that the Family of Guptas were influencing ministerial appointment to their own advantage which amounts to injustice and corruption.

According to the “State of Capture”, the report of the Public Protector which was released in October 2016, it was clearly stated that the investigation emanated as a result of the petition lodged against President Zuma by Fr Muyebe on behalf of the Dominican Order in Southern Africa.

According to Fr Muyebe, they decided to lodge the complaint to have the matter settled. "As people coming from the church we were not politically motivated. Our concerns were that there were serious allegations and that - for the purposes of common good - it was proper that there should be an independent investigation into the allegations."

The report was damning such that President Zuma went to court to challenge its release. Fr Muyebe would not comment on the findings as the Order in Southern Africa is yet to discuss the report. He, however, paid homage to the court for ordering the release of the report.

"The performance of the courts and Chapter 9 institutions are in some way restoring public confidence in democracy. There's an element of checks and balances that is coming from those institutions. There's also an element of accountability as well, that says we can rely on these institutions. At that level, democracy in South Africa is not totally broken. We have an arm of government that is able to operate independently and has ability to do check and balances.", he said.

But the complaint almost caused a serious fallout within the Order in Southern Africa, as some members and people outside it felt it should not have been lodged the petition under its banner.

Fr Muyebe however believes that this group of people have recovered from the storm. "Some, I think, might have seen it as part of a political movement for regime change. For us, it was not motivated by that. We respect the authorities but we're also looking at how their leadership is impacting the poor. We're coming from that angle."

This was edited from the report in the Sowetan


(8 November 2016)